He May Be an Ineffective Legislator, But He's a Hell of a Nice Guy


So there was this gathering last night at the Scene's Arcade bureau, Brandon's. Out of discretion and respect for the group, I won't divulge the cast of characters (they are welcome to out themselves in the comments section and to offer the reason for the celebration), but I will say that Stacey Campfield, a 39-year-old GOP state House member from Knoxville, happened to be at the same place at the same time. You may have heard of this guy: He's considered a legislative joke, an uber right-winger who after four years in the state legislature has yet to pass a bill or even get one onto the floor of the House. Not even the other Christian conservatives take him seriously. I promised him that the substance of our discussion—it was really more like an assault, and I was the aggressor—was off the record, but I don't think he would object if I characterized him generally or the way he comported himself. First, we detected not one morsel of intellectual rigor, and his defenses of certain public policy efforts were just vapid, reminiscent of a junior high debate. But he sat there for over an hour taking all manner of guff in a good-natured, professional way. There we were, smoking, drinking and at one point making references to cocaine use, all the while mocking this teetotaling conservative. He sat there and took it like a man. (Stacey, we're not making a gay joke unless you want us to be.) Like he says on his blog profile, he's just an average guy—and a really nice one. The next Dasani's on us.

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